Team announcement: Champ out to defend title

Last year's SuperCoach winner Thommo Aitken reveals his team in his quest to defend his Big Bash title.

Pre-season

After the SC Spy dropped his initial team for BBL 10, I have followed suit revealing my initial team for Round 1.

I have already tinkered with it and I know I will continue to tinker with different players in the lead up (who doesn’t?).

Here is a quick look at who is sitting in my team at the moment. It is great fun to play around with some different squad combinations, even if some are a tad more outrageous than others!

There are still so many unknowns for myself at the moment. How many Stars for Week 1 on the double? Do you include any Strikers in your team?

How much forward planning for Strikers and Hurricanes in the coming rounds?

Should I have some spare salary cap remaining? Oh the joys of SuperCoach! So many angles to consider!

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Wicketkeeper

Josh Philippe

At this stage he is the most likely wicketkeeper to start in my side. This young star of Australian cricket will open the batting for the Sixers.

Last year he made 487 runs at an average of 37.46 with a highest score of 83.

The fact he keeps for a Sixers side that is a fantastic bowling line up is appealing too because there is a chance he can regularly get some extra points through catches and stumpings.

He averaged a decent enough 52.7 last series with three good scores of over 100. He also had a cheeky little stint in the IPL of six matches where he didn’t do anything sublime, but the experience will be great for a player who looks like he is still on that upward spiral.

Baxter Holt

The cheapest keeper in the game who looks very unlikely to play a game this series considering he is behind Gilkes and then Billings when he eventually arrives.

He looks like a beautiful vice-captain loophole option for the early rounds. The only concerns are Round 4 and 6 when the Thunder are involved in the first game meaning you will be unable to loophole a VC score (unless you have another non-player somewhere else in the squad).

Batsmen

D’Arcy Short

The most expensive player available in the tournament. Short will opening the batting for the Hurricanes and can roll the arm over for some overs of spin when required.

He will play lots of early matches in the Tasmanian hub where he knows the local conditions well after playing many seasons with the Hurricanes.

He has early fixtures against teams like the Sixers (average of 101 SC points!) and Strikers (average of 99.6 points) who he traditionally scores very well against. Probably my first picked in the side. 

Marcus Stoinis

A logical inclusion in many, many sides. Clearly made the most runs last tournament with a staggering 705 runs at an average of 54.23.

He made 147 not out in a game against my Sydney Sixers which was an incredible 244 Supercoach points (and as a sad side note I don’t believe he was in my side that night).

He averaged 64.9 SuperCoach points last season and 96.9 two editions ago when bowling many more overs.

He has been bowling overs in the most recent IPL and will be a popular captain choice in the opening fixture for many a SuperCoach player.

He picked up an injury in the first ODI against India, so I’ll obviously be monitoring news on his recovery leading into the opener.

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Glenn Maxwell

A hugely talented cricketer that can impact on the cricket field with bat, ball or in the field.

Surely he goes and posts a big score in one of the games that the Stars have in the first round, even though he traditionally struggles against the Heat and the Thunder to post high scores.

He averaged a very solid 64.6 SC points last season and usually posts a big score in one of the early matches of the tournament.

He has scores of 146 and 150 in the early matches over the past few years. I would be leaving him out at your own peril!

Will Jacks

Not someone I was going to start with, but I am warming slowly to the idea of starting Will Jacks in my team.

Ideally I would like to have at least a small look at an ‘unknown’ International prospect in the BBL.

However, the fact that the Hurricanes have the double in Round 2 makes me think he might need to start in my team.

He will bat high in the order and can bowl some spin overs as well. He was very, very good for Surrey in the Vitality Blast tournament taking 13 wickets in 13 games with his best figures of 4/15.

He also averaged 34.33 with the bat (highest score of 65) at a great strike rate of 149.27.

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Dan Christian

He only averaged 32.6 SC points at the Renegades last season but he will be plying his trade with the Sixers this season and he looms as an intriguing prospect.

The Sixers could be missing many players during the early stages of the tournament and Christian could be the beneficiary of the situation.

I hope he bats as high as possible in the line up and bowls on a consistent basis. He was still a handy contributor in the English T20 tournament and starred in the final with bat and ball.

He picked up player of the match taking 4/23 with the ball and also making 21 runs (not out) with the bat.

Matt Short

Listed as a batsman this year, but I think has been BAT/BWL previously.

Short averaged a measly 22.8 SC points last season but did have a high score of 71 points when he made 33 off 20 batting at number six.

He did start batting last season at number three and can potentially bowl a couple of overs depending on team make up.

Even though the Strikers have the bye in the opening round he is a cheaper prospect that can sit on the bench.

I think he is best XI material, but it is something I will need to monitor as we approach the start of the tournament.

Jack Wildermuth

Moving back to the Heat this year after a stint with the Renegades. He didn’t play many games last year and finished the year with a smelly, smelly average of 18.7 SuperCoach points.

If you look at earlier editions of the Big Bash, namely BBL 08, he registered scores of 88, 80 and 72 in the opening six games and he had a price of $137,300.

He has the added advantage of the BAT/BWL eligibility. He won’t be batting extremely high in the order (6, 7 or 8 you would assume), but with Cutting and Pattinson leaving this year, there should be some overs for him.

Fingers crossed he can do some damage with the bat at various stages. It looks like he will start in the best XI at the Heat at this stage with his job security looking pretty reasonable.

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Bowlers

Adam Zampa

Zampa is the second best spinner in the competition behind Rashid Khan and looks to be a great selection in Round 1.

He averaged 64.3 in BBL 09 and had four scores over 100. I would be very surprised if he isn’t in the wickets at some stage early on in the season.

He took three wickets in both games against the Heat last season for SC scores over 100 and has some reasonable stats against the Thunder. These are the teams he plays against in Round 1.

Nathan Coulter-Nile

One player I am warming to picking, so he is in my side for now.

I would like a pace bowler from the Stars to start with so he is the fella I am selecting for now.

The fact he can pick up the odd injury and furthermore the fact that the Stars have back-to-back games makes me ponder if he could get rested for one of the two opening fixtures.

He has played some cricket recently in the IPL and he has the ability to float in the batting order and act as that pinch-hitter role if needed.  

He had a game where he scored 140 points last season and if you go back one more season he averaged a healthy 60.9 SuperCoach points for the tournament.

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Andrew Tye

Tye didn’t play a game at all last year due to injury but everything seems on track for this proven wicket taker to be ready to play in this edition of the Big Bash.

I’m hoping he can continue to pick up wickets later on in the innings like he has done previously leading to impressive SuperCoach scores and a handy average of over 50 when he has played in previous seasons.  

Zahir Khan

He is playing for the Stars this year after playing for the Heat last season. I am looking at him as a schedule pick only due to the fact that the Stars have the double in Round 1.

He is not someone I am likely to have in my team for an extended period this season.

He took eight wickets in eight games last year for a SuperCoach average of 46. Can he pick up that extra wicket or two?

The match up against the ex-teammates at the Heat who can struggle against spin is certainly an intriguing one.

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Nathan Ellis

If only he was as cheap as his starting price last year of $42,000 (those were the days… a pre-covid world).

His form in the Sheffield Shield this season has been stellar (12 wickets in three matches) and hopefully the fast bowler can continue this form into the shorter format of the game.

He will bowl all four overs and looks like bowling death overs for Hobart this season.

Noor Ahmed

The 15-year-old spinner from Afghanistan will start the tournament with the Renegades squad before Christmas until the South African veteran spinner Imran Tahir joins the Renegades.

Surely he plays the games he is available for because it is a long way to travel and quarantine to sit on the sidelines and just bowl in the nets!

He’s a cheap price that hopefully increases each game he plays. A wicket a game would be nice!

Mitchell Owen

Just a place holder at this stage. I am waiting and hoping an ultra cheapie emerges in the next fortnight that could score some points and hold a spot on the bench as either a batter or bowler.

 Let’s see what happens. Another Harris Rauf type operator would be handy! Ha!

Share your thoughts below. Have I missed something? Does your squad look similar or are we poles apart?

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4 Responses to “Team announcement: Champ out to defend title”

  1. Great article.
    I am new to BBL SC but not new to SC as I play AFL SC (got as high as 633 overall before finishing just under 8,000).
    My team i am currently going with is as follows:
    Wkt – Philippe (Holt)
    Bat – Stoinis Maxwell Jacks McDermott Bryant (Salt Wildermuth)
    Bowl – Short Zampa NCN Khan -Stars Ellis (Ahmed Owen)
    Remaining salary – $18,900

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